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quarters might be said to live along the line, and the skill to restore a losing battle or effect a retreat was never wanting, any more than the strategy which wins or improves a victory. But what did such skill avail here, on an untried element, where soldiers and generals were equally helpless, where strategy was useless and bravery thrown away? All hope of carrying out any pre-organized plan was at an end. Sauve qui peut became the word among the hired or pressed masters of transports, who, such of them as escaped being run down, made off without waiting to take in their original freights. The wind rose and soon freshened to a gale. The armed flotillas and gunboats, which had fallen back before the advancing armament, now dashed in and assailed it on every side. The fire of shells was continued from the mound, so long as the light was sufficient to distinguish the hostile vessels. A desperate sea-fight was prolonged till dark, and partially continued through the night.

When morning broke, the catastrophe was made clear in all its horrors. The second Armada had shared the fate of the first. The strand was strewed with wrecks. Every rising wave bore to the surface some ghastly memorial of the battle or the storm. Most of the hostile ironclads were missing, or had struck. The Empress Augusta,' which carried Cæsar and his fortunes-in other words, the Imperial Generalissimo and his suite-had received a six-hundred-pound steel-headed shot between wind and water, her engines were disabled, her rudder shot away, and her crew decimated. She struck to the Sultan, commanded by the Duke of Edinburgh, who had engaged her at close quarters, and was preparing to board. Princes, Archdukes, and Dukes (all more or less sea-sick) were made prisoners by the score. The renowned Chief of a brilliant Staff was picked up in an exhausted state while endeavouring to regain his ship by swimming, after the

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boat in which he was trying to remedy the confusion had been swamped by the surf; and a Serene Highness, who had valiantly made his way to the shore with a small party, was with difficulty persuaded to give up his sword to Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, who enacted the part of Lannoy to Francis I. at Pavia.

Another striking historical parallel was presented, when the Prince of Wales advanced to receive the most illustrious of the prisoners-one whose helmet might have been surmounted by an imperial crown— with the graceful and deferential courtesy with which the Black Prince waited on the captive King of France at Poitiers. But we reserve for another chapter the various episodes of this ever-memorable triumph and its results.

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THE PURCHASE SYSTEM.1

'Seeing that a true theory is a compendium of particular truths, it is necessarily true as applied to particular cases. The terms of the theory are general and abstract, or the particular truths which the theory implies would not be abbreviated or condensed. But unless it be true in particulars, and therefore true in practice, it has no truth at all.'-Austin, The Province of Jurisprudence Determined.

AT the risk of being denounced a second time in the House of Commons as the author of feeble and melancholy trash,' I will venture to state the main objections to the purchase system which impress civilians like myself. We have as good a right to an opinion on it as Mr. Seely, Mr. Baillie Cochrane, Mr. W. H. Smith, or even Lord Elcho; and I shall show that on every essential point we have the highest military authority on our side.

Shrinking from the perilous doctrine that public employments or trusts of any kind are proper subjects of sale, the advocates of the purchase system content themselves with asserting, in every variety of phrase, that, if indefensible in theory or principle, it works well that its practical results are excellent: that it has given us an army which, in the words of the Iron Duke, would go anywhere and do anything:' that all the recorded triumphs or daring deeds of that army are owing to it that (in Mr. Baillie Cochrane's opinion) it

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1 The publication of this brochure, originally intended for a letter to a leading journal, was accidentally delayed till after the practical decision of the question, and only a few copies were circulated towards the end of July, 1871. It is now reprinted under an impression that the real character and tendency of the purchase system are still imperfectly

understood.

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is the mainstay of our military system; that (in Lord Elcho's) the purchasing class of officers are the salt of the service;' that (according to another senator) our regimental system, which could not exist without it, 'is worthy of the admiration of the world.'

Now, did it ever occur to any of these gentlemen, or to any one of the associate colonels, to analyse their own precise meaning, or to follow out their assertions to the strictly logical and inevitable conclusion? The purchase system, unknown in any other army, is confined to the Guards, the Infantry of the Line, and the Cavalry. It does not exist in the Artillery, the Engineers, the Marines, or the Navy. It should follow, therefore, that, cæteris paribus, the officers of the Guards, the Infantry of the Line, and the Cavalry, are superior in all officer-like qualities to the officers of any other branch of either service-indeed, to any other officers in the world: that they are braver, endowed with a higher sense of honour, and better qualified in all respects to inspire the confidence and command the willing obedience of their men. Nay, more: it should follow that if, at a grand review of all our available forces, the Commander-in-Chief were to ride along the line and give the word, 'Over-regulationprice officers to the front,' they would be found to comprise all, or nearly all, who have added or are likely to add lustre to our arms. If this does not follow, what is meant by calling them 'the salt of the service' and 'the mainstay of the military system?' I am not denying their good qualities. I am simply contending that, these qualities having no connection with money, they are not necessarily endowed with more of them than their brother officers who have not purchased, and that, as for bravery, they are not braver than the private who fights for a shilling a day.

By way of testing this point, let us take the cavalry charge at Balaclava, which has been repeatedly men

tioned in the debates on the Army Regulation Bill as the gem, the pride, the crowning triumph of the purchase system; not without some show of reason, for most of the officers engaged in it had given high prices for their commissions, and their noble leader had paid, sooner or later, about 26,000l. for his. Nothing could be finer or more admirable than the manner in which this devoted band rode up that fatal valley to face death; but was there one particle of difference between the bearing of the officers and the men? Did a single trooper draw bridle rein or swerve till the battery was reached? They were like the Scots at Flodden:

'No thought was there of craven flight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,
As fearlessly and well.'

It may be unjust to question the personal courage of Lord Cardigan. Where he failed was in coolness, presence of mind and military coup-d'œil; but it is a fact which cannot and ought not to be kept back that, when this spoilt child of the purchase system, honestly thinking he had done enough for glory, was galloping to the rear, a non-commissioned officer, Sergeant O'Hara, of the 17th Lancers, got a part of his troop together, and, after pursuing the momentary advantage, did a leader's duty in covering the retreat.

The late Lord Alvanley used to say that, after being in one battle, he made up his mind never to be in another, having had to find courage for his men when he had only just enough for himself. He forgot that this was rather too serious a matter for a joke. The British soldier never needs or expects courage to be found for him. He would be simply annoyed by the eternal en avant of the French officers; and there is an authentic anecdote of the Peninsular war that, when an aide-de-camp rode to the front of a regiment drawn up to receive cavalry and exhorted them to

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